Breezeway Homage No. 3, “All benefited in some way.”

All benefited in some way. Susan Scheid (2015)

All benefited in some way. Susan Scheid (2015)

Well, not quite. Mickey Mouse seems a little the worse for wear, but I couldn’t resist including him. The collage pays homage to John Ashbery’s poem “Listening Tour” in the volume Breezeway. The title is quintessential Ashbery, reflecting his own lifelong “listening tour” of vernacular quirks he might put to use. The poem dips into a past I recognize, recalling an argument about network news channels that wouldn’t occur today. The poem then offers two delectable “turns” and closes with a slangy shrug.

I haven’t captured my visual response to the poem to my satisfaction (will I ever for any poem?), but as perfection is the enemy of, if not the good, at least the impulse to make, I offer it up to view. In the course of it I may have learned something, by trial and error (primarily error), about the trickiness of glue, proper balancing of elements, and difficulty of obtaining clean edges, all of which converged to confound me, particularly, in the lower right section of this collage.

Listen to John Ashbery read Listening Tour here.

Listening List (what I happened to be listening to at the moment)

Maurice Ravel, Ma Mère l’Oye (Mother Goose) Suite (1908-1910; orchestrated 1911)

On Spotify: Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra/Myung-Whun Chung

Chung and the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra’s recording of Mahler’s Ninth Symphony was chosen as the Monthly Orchestral Selection in BBC Music Magazine’s August Issue (David Nice, reviewer), so I thought I’d see what the same forces accomplish with the Ravel. My verdict? Lovely, delicate, all I might wish for in a performance of this piece.

On YouTube: Netherlands Radio Philharmonic/Edward Gardner

Program notes about the Suite may be found here.

The five pieces in the Suite are listed below, together with timestamps for the YouTube video.

0:00    Pavane de la belle au bois dormant (Pavane of the Sleeping Beauty)
1:38    Petit Poucet (Tom Thumb)
5:25    Laideronnette, impératrice des pagodes (Laideronnette, Empress of the Pagodas)
9:10    Les entretiens de la belle et de la bête (Conversations of Beauty and the Beast)
14:15  Le jardin féerique (The Enchanted Garden)

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Credits: The text in the collage is from Ashbery’s “Listening Tour.” The image and underlying collage, as always on the blog unless otherwise indicated, are mine.

 

Warning: Reflections May Be Distorted

Portland Old Port Reflections

Portland Old Port Reflections

Dateline: Portland, Maine

We’d visited Portland Maine on two prior occasions, in each case a quick stopover, once on the way to Nova Scotia, the other on the way to downeast Maine. This time, we made a point to stay two nights, so we’d have at least one full day in town. Continue reading

Breezeway Homage No. 2, A Fountain in the Street

A Fountain in the Street, Susan Scheid (2015)

A Fountain in the Street, Susan Scheid (2015)

The collage takes its name from the poem “A Fountain in the Street” in John Ashbery’s newest collection Breezeway. Ashbery prefaced the poem with an epigraph from the poet Larry Fagin. I’ve been unable to find the poem, but its title, “Content Is a Glimpse,” likely refers to a comment made by Willem de Kooning: “Content, if you want to say, is a glimpse of something, an encounter, you know, like a flash – it’s very tiny, very tiny, content.” The collage does contain a fountain and visual allusions to fountains, but offers overall only a glimpse of the content of the poem. Continue reading

It is so ordered.

U.S. cartoonist Alison Bechdel portrayed as she works in her studio at the castle of Civitella Ranieri, central Italy, Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014, courtesy of the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

U.S. cartoonist Alison Bechdel portrayed as she works in her studio at the castle of Civitella Ranieri, central Italy, Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014, courtesy of the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

The text of the Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, 576 U.S. ___ (2015), may be found just about everywhere, but also here. Continue reading